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Even on her way to prison, even after a jury convicted her of tricking nearly everyone she understood and a judge accused her of running “a big scam,” Anna Sorokin was sticking by her story.
For years, Ms. Sorokin pretended to be Anna Delvey, a German heiress with a trust fund that paid for a life of attractive ease. She resided in shop hotels, used designer clothing and hung out in Manhattan’s rich party circles.
In truth, Ms. Sorokin, 28, was a Russian immigrant who abandoned expenses, connived her way into high-end, and convinced a teller to offer her $100,00 0 she never meant to repay, the jury decided in convicting her last month.
However in 2 interviews with The New york city Times at the Rikers Island jail complex, where she has been held since October 2017, Ms. Sorokin was eager to explain her actions as the naïve bad moves of a girl worried that she would not otherwise be taken seriously.
” The thing is, I’m not sorry,” she stated on Friday, a day after she was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. “I ‘d be lying to you and to everybody else and to myself if I stated I was sorry for anything. I regret the way I set about certain things.”
She stated she always meant to pay back her creditors, that included two downtown hotels, a private jet business and banks. In all, the jury found, Ms. Sorokin bilked these places out of more than $200,00 0 and attempted to deceive a hedge fund into offering her a $25 million loan.
In an interview about a week before her sentencing, Ms. Sorokin acknowledged that buddies understood her as Anna Delvey. However that was just her mother’s first name, she stated.
( Her legal representative, Todd Spodek, later told The Times that he did not think that was the case, and her parents had informed New York magazine they did not acknowledge the name.)
It was true, she stated, that she had falsified some bank records, but only due to the fact that she had a big dream. She had wished to begin a $40 million personal club, and potential investors pushed her to open it before they would put up their own loan.
Ms. Sorokin insisted she was worried that as a young female, she was vulnerable to guys who would “cheer me on” and then take control of her vision for the club, which she called the Anna Delvey Structure. The attention of prominent men in finance and property validated her, she said.
” My intention was never money,” she stated, dressed in a khaki prison jumpsuit and Céline glasses. “I was power hungry.”
Pals might have thought she had countless dollars at her disposal, she said, however that was a misunderstanding. She said she never informed anyone she had that type of money– they just assumed it.
Still, while Ms. Sorokin made excuses for her actions, she did not say sorry for her character: “I’m not an excellent person.”
From striver to grifter
Ms. Sorokin said she was born in Russia and grew up in Eschweiler, Germany, where her father worked as an executive at a transport business, which eventually became insolvent. At 19, she left her moms and dads and brother for Paris in pursuit of a style degree.
Ms. Sorokin, who spoke just vaguely of her youth, stated she was not close to her “conservative” moms and dads; she kept in mind that they did not attend her trial.
In Paris, she said she handled the name Anna Delvey when shooting photographs for Purple, a style, art and culture publication. There, her attention relied on art.
Making simply 400 euros a month, she remained financially based on her moms and dads, who spent for her apartment or condo, she stated.
However after experiencing a break up, she headed to New York in the late summer season of 2013 for a trip to Montauk and then Fashion Week.
New York City was not supposed to be a long-term move, but she found more buddies than in Paris and chose to remain. For a while, she operated at Purple’s New york city office, she stated. However ultimately, she gave up that, too.
This, prosecutors stated, is when the striver Anna Delvey ended up being the grifter Anna Delvey.
She moved from store hotel to store hotel, handing out $100 pointers and postponing bills with pledges of wire transfers that never ever emerged. She arranged dinners at costly dining establishments, hired a private personal trainer and used Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.
She also started pitching her concept for her private club, which she called A.D.F., with exclusive memberships and rotating arts shows. She got to André Balazs, the hotelier; Roo Rogers, the British-American business owner; and Aby Rosen, the property designer.
In 2015, she befriended Gabriel Andres Calatrava, a designer and the child of Santiago Calatrava, the architect who designed the Oculus, the birdlike focal point of the World Trade Center transit hub.
But time was running out. She stated she felt forced to open the club in order to draw in more investors. District attorneys said her ploy was collapsing.
In late 2016, she stated, she returned to Germany for a few months where she exercised the details of A.D.F. and produced 4 fake bank statements in Photoshop, which she stated took surprisingly little time.
She returned to New York in early2017 She would utilize those same documents once again and again in pursuit of different loans, she stated.
Life behind bars
Ms. Sorokin was very first apprehended in July 2017 for avoiding thousands of dollars of costs at the Beekman and W New york city hotels and a lunch expense of less than $200 at a dining establishment at the Le Parker Meridien hotel.
After being released, Ms. Sorokin was again jailed in October 2017 and held at Rikers.
Ahead of trial, she stated, she was used a plea offer with a sentence of 3 to 9 years in prison, however she thought about that too long and took her chances on a trial. Although she was sentenced to a longer term than she had actually been provided in a plea offer, she stated she did not be sorry for going to trial.
She said she has balked versus authority in Rikers and has been disciplined 30 times, including a few weeks in solitary over Christmas. Due to the fact that of her behavior, Ms. Sorokin stated, she has actually been held in a maximum security section.
A city corrections main confirmed the stint in solitary and said Ms. Sorokin had 13 infractions for things like fighting and disobeying orders.
She stated she had achieved a step of fame to name a few inmates for cheating the rich but said she did not support that characterization of herself.
Ms. Sorokin stated she still has some infrequent visits from good friends. But she has actually not seen Rachel Williams, a former Vanity Fair picture editor who affirmed versus Ms. Sorokin at the trial.
Ms. Williams accused her of taking more than $60,00 0 for an opulent trip they took together to Marrakesh in2017 A jury found Ms. Sorokin not guilty of the charge.
On the stand, Ms. Williams had burst into tears, calling the theft the worst experience of her life. “She needs to attempt a week here,” Ms. Sorokin stated dryly, of Rikers.
Ms. Sorokin has actually started writing a narrative about her exploits in New York. She prepares to compose a 2nd book about her experience at Rikers.
In a subsequent phone interview, Ms. Sorokin stated she was eagerly anticipating ending up both books while in jail.
” I think I’m lucky sufficient to go to real prison, so I’ll have more material,” she stated.
After her release, she is likely to be deported to Germany, however she stated she then intended to relocate to London.
She said she had already made some “smaller investments” in innovation and cryptocurrency with individual money routed through an L.L.C.
Ms. Sorokin stated she was also thinking about criminal justice reform, expert system and the banking market, including: “Preferably, if all goes well, I’ll have my own financial investment fund.”
Mr. Spodek, her lawyer, said: “I don’t know how practical some of these organisation undertakings are. But I’m positive that this will not be the last time we speak with Anna, and I understand that she will go on to excellent things.”
Others are also writing Ms. Sorokin’s story: Ms. Williams has handle HBO and Simon & Schuster. And Netflix acquired the rights to the New York publication story for a concealed amount. Shonda Rhimes, the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” has actually been tapped to dramatize it
As guards indicated the end of the visit before her sentencing, Ms. Sorokin was asked if, given the chance, she would do the same things once again.
Ms. Sorokin shrugged. “Yes, most likely so,” she stated, chuckling.
An earlier variation of this article misspelled part of the name of a television show created by Shonda Rhimes. It is “Grey’s Anatomy,” not “Gray’s.”